Cable&Wireless Worldwide has joined the West Africa Cable System (WACS) consortium to provide a high-speed fibre optic network that will link southern and western Africa to Europe with faster and more cost-effective connectivity.

The 3.84TbpsWACS will connect to more than 13 countries and will provide the first ever international submarine connections to Namibia, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Republic of Congo and Togo.
Taj Onigbanjo, head of Africa at Cable&Wireless Worldwide, comments: “Africa is one of the hot spots for international growth and Cable&Wireless has quickly established a strong place in the region.  By partnering with other industry players to provide the WACS, we are demonstrating our commitment to fostering the infrastructure needed for both international and local businesses to prosper in this emerging market.
"Moreover, Africa is at the forefront of the current acceleration of the submarine cable market, providing experienced global operators such as Cable&Wireless with new opportunities for growth and innovation.”
At present, Cable&Wireless customers in the region are reliant on satellite broadband connections to ensure their bandwidth requirements are met.  Once the WACS cable has been deployed, customers will benefit from reduced costs and an easier path to up-scaling bandwidth.  The issues involved with deploying broadband over satellite will also be overcome.  WACS will also allow Cable&Wireless to deploy its own Points of Presence (POPs) in the region, enabling the rollout of next-generation services such as Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS).
Nick Lambert, MD: EMEA, Asia Pacific, India and US at Cable&Wireless Worldwide, adds: “We deployed our first cables in the region in 1890 and our focus on the African market has not dropped off in the intervening years.  The current investment provides us with low cost bandwidth connections to South Africa and Nigeria as well as other strategic West African countries. It provides an independent solution to the private systems currently planned and allows us to diversify our current submarine provisions.
“As a key partner to many multinationals doing business in Africa we continue to work to ensure that we can provide them the best services into the region. WACS will allow us to be able to offer a cost effective, high speed terrestrial service that removes some of the dependence on satellite as a backup solution. This is fantastic news for our enterprise customers with presence in the region or looking to invest in this growing market.”